The British had built an extensive network of railways as the principal mode of transport to facilitate movement of raw materials and manufactured goods. Over the years the Indian railways have grown. The smooth functioning of the economy and implementation of development plans depend on the proper functioning of the railway system. They provide an economical mode of transport of heavy freight over long distances.
Roads and road transport are the second most important component of the national transport system. They bring remote areas into contact with the rest of the country. Road network comprises of national highways, state roads of economic and interstate importance (and roads in border areas). Our national highways connect the important cities and industrial centres of the country. The State Road Transport Corporations have been formed in every state.
Water transport is important for India because she has a long coastline. Water transport includes Coastal shipping, International shipping and Inland water transport. The major ports are Bombay, Haldia, Madras, Mangalore, and Vishakhapatnam.
Independent India built up its civil aviation from scratch. The management and development of international airports is looked after by IAAI (International Airport Authority of India).
All the different modes of transport are supplementary and complementary to each other and the objective should be to set up a minimum cost transport system.